Chapter 258

Caroline was having a tough go of it. She had made two more trips to surgery. Linda Breeze had intended to go home on Wednesday to return to work. The company she worked for told her to stay as long as necessary.

Linda was a nervous wreck and spending so much time alone did not help after her family went back to Fort Wayne. Wednesday night Courtney convinced her to stay at her house in the spare room.

For JBG the week had been busy. Marcy, Cindy and Mark were crunching the numbers for the two new sites. On Wednesday, Eric and agents from two other agencies met with Marcy to review the bids and make adjustments. Those adjustments were more surveillance equipment, more costs and more mark-up.

The contracts were rewritten and sent to both colleges for approval. It was a no brainer for them; more security and less cost with the government grants in the equation. Both colleges faxed signed contracts back on Thursday and the process began with the job postings in those cities.

Finally, on Thursday I was able to get back into a normal routine for the rest of the week. Thursday night, while on the way home from KCC I stopped by the airport site.

One of the three batch plants was gone along with several of the concrete mix trucks. The floor pour was different than what had been done with the runways. It looked like they were starting from each side and working towards the middle with the concrete.

They were using some kind of pump truck get the concrete to the big center sections. One of the men said it was the same procedure that they had used with the other two hangars. I had not been around to see the first ones.

With the heating system in the floor, it was the only way they could pour it. They were working on the last few hundred feet of the hangar. Men were riding on a gasoline powered trowel that was smoothing the surface.

The outside sections already had the steel beams to support the roof beams in place and they were installing the roof beams with big cranes. To me it looked like this was the only place concrete work was left to finish along with the tarmac and its connection to the runways.

It made sense because Tony had said that all the concrete work would be finished before any freezing weather. In this area that could happen soon after Thanksgiving, just four weeks away.

Tony had sent me a text yesterday that both the JBG and Agency hangars were now completely finished. The Agency had their contractors installing top secret stuff in theirs now. Tony said there was a daily convoy of government trucks and SUVs navigating the access road to the hangar.

Marcy and Lorrie were both itching to move our planes here to stop the tie down, rental fees and FBO fees at Easton for the bombardiers and at Island Airport for the rest.

There were two hold-ups to that move. One was the OK from Tony that the concrete was ready to support that kind of weight. The other was the terminal building. We needed to be able to assemble passengers out of the coming cold and bad weather and they needed a place to park their vehicles.

Fuel was not one of the problems. The fuel tanks were filled to check for any leaks before the final payment to the contractor. Our fuel supply was ready to go.

Bob’s Construction and all of his sub-contractors had made remarkable progress on the terminal, but I did not see the move happening for another month at least. As soon as the cover crop seeding was done the biplane would make its last flight here.

The mechanics were going to drain all the fluids, remove the batteries, touch up all the paint then help Bob move it into the terminal to its designated spot as a museum piece as we had agreed with Crash.

Lorrie had found a turbo prop duster to replace it for next season. It was getting a remanufactured turbine installed at the factory along with some new spray components.

I headed to the office so I could get updates at our evening meeting. The news was better tonight from Caroline; she had made her first steps today and had checked in with some of her classes. The rest of her family was coming back Friday night. Courtney sent a text that Caroline’s family wanted to see me if it was possible, either this weekend or next weekend.

Tony had good news; we could start using the 4-22 runway for all flights the first week of November – next week – and we could move into the hangar at any time starting this week. The 15-33 run way needed another 10 days for full capacity but could be used if we had to, for planes weighing less than 15000 pounds.

The runways would have the painted landing markings, numbers and stripes finished tomorrow. The lines and markings to our hangar, the agency hangar and the terminal were also going to be painted

The instrument landing system was operational for both runways and had been certified. The airport identification beacon and radio systems would go operational Friday morning.

After much discussion, the move would be made this weekend with the Bombardiers first and the rest of the aircraft by Monday morning. Easton and the county would get no more payments.

I asked Tony to tell all the contractors to keep all equipment off the runways and taxi-ways after Saturday and if they were working near the runway, the equipment would need flashing lights operating. All boom trucks and cranes needed a light on the highest part of the tower.

The east end side hangar was going to be office space for the pilots and mechanics anyhow, so for the time being it would serve as our customer center until we could move into the terminal. There was a parking lot with it that would have to do.

Marcy and Lorrie were going to place the order for the cubicles and chairs, computers and flat screens to fully set it up. When the terminal was finished it could be moved, or maybe not.

The office supply company had same day delivery and setup. The phone system had been tested in our hangar and was waiting for plug and play; hopefully the techs could come Monday to expand it to meet the changes.

The mechanics could move the shop equipment starting tomorrow if they wanted the overtime, or as they had time Monday. Things were coming together and they needed to with the shorter days now.

Eric, Ty and Kathryn knew we used video conferencing a lot, they also knew we had nightly organizational meeting. Eric sent me a text asking if we were in a meeting and for the video address if we were.

For the next hour we had a video conference with DHS; not only Eric, but his direct supervisor from Washington. It was the first time I had seen or even heard of Douglas McJames. I had to assume he had one of those deep missile proof offices at some secret location.

He knew a lot about JBG and the things we did. He knew even more about me and my mates and talked like we were long lost old friends. He asked a lot of questions about Rochester, Michigan and Minnesota. He finished the conversation with instructions for Eric to attend our session tomorrow night.

Edit by Alfmeister

Proof read by Joe H.

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